It is widely accepted that technical and vocational training has the great potential of accelerating any country’s drive towards development. Vocational apprenticeship is a system of training offered to a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession. Apprenticeship enables the practitioner to gain a license to practice the trade and build their careers from apprenticeship. Technical vocational training is designed to train individuals for specific profession which increases their chances for quick employment or setting up their own business.
Ghana’s education system has not shifted significantly from the unsystematic general education of our former colonial masters, a self-pre-occupation that short-changed Ghanaians into subservient semi-literates.
The education was purely based on learning the English language and vicious attempts to indoctrinate Africans in general with the English culture. The colonial type of education can be likened to giving fish to the hungry man instead of teaching him how to fish.
Many people in Ghana today have devised different ways of earning a living due to the economic situation in the country. some of the things people do include using beads to make sandals, bags, necklaces and earrings and so on. smock making, using different fabrics to make ribbons, footwear, bags and so on. in a way, people are using their creativity to earn a living. much as these activities help the individuals to earn income, the question is, is the income enough to help them make ends meet?
Vocational apprenticeship is one way by which people can be able to help improve their standard of living and meet the high cost of living. that is why it is important for technical vocational training to be introduced in our school curriculum to help school children acquire some skills that will help them create employment and not rely on government to give them non-existent jobs when they finish school. Trades like dressmaking, smock making, calabash works, weaving, beads making, shoe making, catering services, carpentry, building and construction, plumbing and so on can be introduced right from the creche and kindergarten level through all the various levels of education.
This will encourage children to take the training seriously and work hard to add innovations to what they are taught. Many Ghanaians have this negative mentality that vocational training is for children who do not get the opportunity to go to school and those who are not very good in school, the Akans refer to them as ‘obiaa wabon’. As a result of this, many people do not want to be associated with vocational training. If so, who where do the furniture come from? Where do we get the clothes from? What about the food we eat? Who is going to repair our vehicles when they break down? Who will dress our hair? Where will the soap we use come from? Who will construct the bridges and the roads that we ply?
Some parents think that their children are too intelligent to engage in vocational apprenticeship. The way some teachers also react to issues about technical vocational training makes it difficult fpr chioldren to confidently owe up to engage in this training? Some have to be doctors, teachers, lawyers, writers, musicians, engineers and so on so that there will always be someone to meet our needs at any point in time. We all
cannot be the same. As Ghana aspires towards development, there is a need for increased skilled labour. All Ghanaians look forward to living in a society with an efficient public transport system, affordable and safe accommodation, reliable energy supply, and all the luxuries that go with development. To achieve this, the country needs a skilled workforce to maintain our roads, bridges and railways, competent engineers and mechanics to service our industries and skilled dressmakers, shopkeepers, jewelers and shoemakers to compete globally.
Countries like Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore collectively known as the Asian Tigers have successfully adopted sound policies in technical vocational training sector which has resulted in what they are today. Globally, vocational training empowers individuals to be independent, self-confident and productive. Skills acquired from technical and vocational training are very necessary for developing countries such as Ghana to be able to go through the development path. However, duty bearers as well as the right bearers do not attach much importance to technical and vocational training in the country like other countries in the world do.